Notable NH Deaths: ‘The Mayor of Hampton Beach’; Former Newton Police Chief

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The Barnstead Parade Cemetery on Parade Road in Barnstead contains more than 400 gravesites. Some of the headstones here date to the late 18th century. Time has caused the wave effect among the stones on the hillside that faces the roadway. scans the websites of New Hampshire funeral homes each week and selects at random some of our friends, relatives and neighbors to feature in this column. The people listed here passed away during the previous weeks and have some public or charitable connection to their community. is now offering obituaries through the service. We view this as part of our public service mission. Click here or on the Obituaries tab at the top of our home page to learn more. And if you know of someone from New Hampshire who should be featured in this column, please send your suggestions to

James P. Baker, 71, of Meredith, died April 15, 2024. He was a regular performer at the Church’s Coffee House. He coached basketball, baseball, softball, and t-ball with the Plymouth Parks and Recreation Department. He volunteered to umpire Little League games, eventually becoming a certified umpire for high school and Babe Ruth baseball. He owned and operated his own toy store, Childish Notions in Lincoln. (Mayhew Funeral Homes and Crematorium)

Norman M. Bower, 88, of Kingston, died April 13, 2024. A U.S. Navy veteran, he served for 21 years on several submarines and was an NROTC instructor in submarine navigation at the University of Mississippi. He served aboard the USS Albacore from 1959 to 1969 (now drydocked in Portsmouth) and was chief of the boat (COB). He was deputy chief of the Kingston Police Department and concluded his 20-year law enforcement career as the police chief of Newton, serving for eight years. He volunteered at Albacore Park from 2002 to 2015 and was a board member of the Portsmouth Submarine Memorial Association. He was a founding member of the Friends of Albacore. (Remick and Gendron Funeral Home- Crematory)

James “Jesse” David Brown Sr., 78, a lifelong resident of Seabrook, died April 12, 2024. A U.S. Army veteran, he founded Brown’s Drywall, which he owned and operated for 40 years. He was commander of the Raymond E. Walton Legion Post 70 in Seabrook, for a combined 20 years. (Remick and Gendron Funeral Home- Crematory)

William J. Bruton, M.D., 87, of Concord and Harwich, Mass., died April 8, 2024. He was a member of Concord Orthopedics, and prior to that the Summit Medical Group, where he served as president and a chief orthopedic surgeon at Overlook Hospital in Summit, N.J. (Chapman Funerals & Cremations, Harwich, Mass.)

Nancy R. Butler, 82, of Alexandria, died April 13, 2024. For 40 years she was librarian of Haynes Memorial Library in Alexandria. As the wife of the fire chief in Alexandria, she volunteered with the Alexandria Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary. (Emmons Funeral Home)

John J. “Jake” Fleming Jr., 71, of Hampton, died April 14, 2024. He was described as a “larger-than-life kind of man” and “The Mayor of Hampton Beach.” He operated the Ocean House Hotel at Hampton for more than 40 years and was general manager of the Hampton Beach Casino Complex for many years. He and his wife Maura operated The Purple Urchin restaurant. He served on the board of directors of the Washington Savings Bank in Lowell, Mass., and was an active member of the Hampton Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. (Remick and Gendron Funeral Home- Crematory)

Andre Henrique Gibeau, 54, of New Boston, died April 10, 2024. A U.S. Army veteran, he was an attorney for many years, most recently with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He was a member of the Shriners Pipe and Drum band and a longtime member of the Pentucket Lodge in Lowell, Mass. He recently joined the Rising Sun Lodge 39 of Nashua. (Peabody Funeral Homes and Crematorium)

Shirley L. Hamilton, 89, of Dover, died April 15, 2024. She was employed for 43 years with the University of New Hampshire, including as the director of transportation services. She was a lifelong member of the Dover Advent Christian Church, later known as Hope Community Church. She served on the board of directors at Vernon Home in Vernon, Vt. (Tasker Funeral Home)

Walter W. Hemming, 84, of Brookline, died April 11, 2024. He started his business career with Arthur Young and Co. in 1961 and became a financial executive for Coca-Cola for 18 years. He served on the board of Centerpoint and Centrix banks. He owned and operated his own financial consulting firm, Hemming Associates, for 20 years. (

Dr. Gerard J. Hevern, 73,  of Moultonborough, died April 14, 2024. He established his practice as a family physician in Suncook, where he worked for more than four decades. He was medical director of the Riverway Center for Recovery at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester for 20 years. He was honored as the Family Physician of the Year by both the New Hampshire Academy of Family Physicians in 2016 and the American Academy of Family Physicians in 2018. (Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory)

Carroll N. Jackson Jr., 91, of Colebrook, died April 12, 2024. A U.S. Army veteran, he was manager of industrial relations for Rust Craft Greeting Cards and then worked for Sylvania Electronics and Pickard & Burns, the Town of Wellesley, Mass., and Boston Edison, retiring in 1987. He then returned to Colebrook  and worked as a carpenter, tax accountant, assistant town clerk, snowmobile trail groomer for the Canaan Border Riders, and greeter at the Colebrook Welcome Center. He volunteered at the Moose Festival, Sugar-On-Snow, church suppers, and at the Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital for more than seven years. He served on the board of library trustees and was a member of Kiwanis. He became a Freemason in 1976 and served as Master of the Nehoiden Lodge, AF & AM, in 1983. (Jenkins & Newman Funeral Home)

David Abbott LeBaron, 96, of Whitefield, died April 2, 2024. He was a chartered accountant in his native Canada and was president of the Association of Business Directors of the English school boards of Quebec. He was co-founder of the Hudson Big Band and played for many years with them before leaving Canada in 1994. He played until he was 90 in the Berlin Jazz Band, the North Country Community Band, the Whitefield town band, and others. He served on the board of directors of the Weathervane Theatre. He acted as advisor to several treasurers of All Saints Episcopal Church in Littleton. (

William H. Longmaid, 97, of Londonderry, died April 12, 2024. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, he retired as a teacher in the Milford School System. He was a longtime member of the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration in Derry, where he served as a Eucharistic Minister. (Peabody Funeral Homes and Crematorium)

William James Murphy, 78, of Hudson, died April 13, 2024. He was assistant director of special education in the Timberlane School District, and in 1989 he joined the Nashua School District directing a program for emotional and behavioral challenged adolescents, retiring in 2009. (Rochette Funeral Home & Cremation Services)

Annette MaryAnn (Richotte) Paquette, 91, of Tilton, died April 14, 2024. She was a volunteer Girl Scout leader and an active member of the Tilton-Northfield Women’s Club. She was on the school board for Winnisquam Regional School District and served as chairwoman.  (Smart Memorial Home)

David Winslow Polhemus, 91, of Rio Rancho, N.M., and formerly of Woodsville, died April 10, 2024. He was ordained an Elder in the United Methodist Church and served New Hampshire churches including North Charlestown, West Unity, Lebanon, and Grantham. He was a chaplain in the U.S. Army for 21 years and a licensed pastoral counselor for 11 years. (Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services)

James William Raymond, 68, of Bradford, died April 14, 2024. He worked at various grocery stores during his career and retired from Sully’s Superette in 2022. He joined the Bradford Fire Department in 1974 and served 50 years. (Chadwick Funeral Home)

Gordon Stanley Smith, 85, of Dover, died April 11, 2024. A U.S. Air Force veteran, he had a more than 60-year career developing motors for a diverse line of products, from headlight door actuators for cars, to a lawnmower starter, to a speed control switch for golf carts. He started his own company in 1989, New England Mechatronics, designing and selling motors and controllers to robotics and automation companies. (Wiggin-Purdy-McCooey-Dion Funeral Home)

Martin Srugis, 72, of Londonderry, died April 16, 2024. He worked in food service for over 50 years and retired in 2018 as food service director at New Hampshire Hospital. He was a member of the Londonderry Historical Society, Solid Waste Committee. Londonderry Athletic & Field Association (LAFA) and the Budget Committee. (Peabody Funeral Homes & Crematorium)

WORDS OF WISDOM: “Someone has to die in order that the rest of us should value life more.” – Author Virginia Woolf, Jan. 25, 1882, to March 28, 1941

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